Smoke and Mirrors – Bart Ramakers & Roel Stels

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said: You only see what you already know and understand. There are probably more incomprehensible than comprehensible phenomena between heaven and earth, and it is in that in-between world between the known and the unknown that the artists Roel Stels and Bart Ramakers operate.

What both gentlemen have in common is that they look at the world with concern and strive for a portion of magic to restore the balance. The balance between man and society, between man and woman, between culture and nature, between rich and poor, between identity and solidarity. It won’t work without magic: the existing recipes are worn out and the imagination in this society is impoverished. Smoke & Mirrors is a large-scale appeal to your imagination. With a broad overview of both their oeuvres, Roel Stels and Bart Ramakers show that anything is possible; you only have to dream it and it exists.

This time, Peter Everaert of Galerie Artisjok challenged them to build a unique exhibition in two large adjacent storefronts on Antwerpsestraat in Lier. You can enjoy Automaten voor een Nieuwe Wereld and other world-improvement projects, but also almost all the highlights from the oeuvres of both artists and some new works specially produced for this exhibition. This enchanting dialogue between two magnificent magicians runs from 9 July to 28 August.

Gallery Artisjok
Antwerpsestraat 62-64 Lier
9 July – 28 August
Thursday – Sunday 14 – 18h

followed by a party

Sandwiched I and II

The feeling of not being understood, no one escapes. In the 18th century, Immanuel Kant chose the term Ungesellige Geselligkeit to describe the tension between the individual and society. That tension has not eased became painfully clear during the pandemic crisis, when we were all forced to give up many individual freedoms for the sake of society.

In a world where only the loudest voices are heard, the unstoppable wind that drives the sea across the land silences everyone. For photographer Bart Ramakers, this evoked the image of the Ostend sandwich man, who expresses his message in hard letters on a panel. Sometimes against the wind.

Sandwiched between nature and society, sandwiched between conflicting feelings, sandwiched between expectations and one’s own wishes, sandwiched between the words on your back and your stomach. Does it help to shout and rant?

In the first part, we follow sandwich man Geert Stadeus on his highly individual quest for an audience through Ostend; in the second part, we let a wide range of Austrians have their say at their favourite location in the city. Finally, in the third part, the Sandwich Man dives into time and returns to the Ostend of a hundred years ago.

This project will be exhibited in the New Galleries in Ostend, 10 August – 26 September (continuously on display) and in CAS (Musinstraat 19) 6 August – 26 September 2022, Saturday and Sunday from 2 to 6 pm.

OPENING EVENT Wednesday 10 August 17h at the Nieuwe Gaanderijen, with speech by alderman of culture Bart Plasschaert, followed by a drink in CAS, Musinstraat 19 Ostend.

Festive commemoration GEERT STADEUS Saturday 27 August 14 – 18h, CAS, Musinstraat 19 Ostend.

Musinstraat 19 Ostend
10 August – 25 September
Saturday – Sunday 14 – 18h


Enjoy a coffee, a picon blanc or a trappist beer in Brasserie du Parc,
Marie-Joséplein 2, and enjoy Bart Ramakers’ exhibition “What’s Love Got to Do with It”, all summer, every day.

And two steps further: Summer Pop Up of Gallery Jos Depypere in Galerie Papillon, Madridstraat 2, with works by José Vermeersch, Bernard Prass, Kamagurka + Herr Seele, Giampolo Amaruso and … Bart Ramakers. Every Friday – Sunday 11 – 18h30.